Tsanbagarov was our last summit! When we got to the camp at around 5pm we were all exhausted!! It had been a long day again (9hours, 23km) and the wind make it very tiring! What we (mountaineers) call the wind effect is the fact that the temperature we feel on our body is much lower than the real temperature (the one you can measure with a thermometer) because of the wind. For me the wind is one of the most tiring elements you can encounter. Especially when it blows all the time, never giving you a short little break!
So we arrived in BC exhausted, too exhausted to have a party at night celebrating our success. It will wait 1 day… At diner, I could see it everybody’s eyes happiness. Happy to have lived a great experience in a new country discovering amazing mountains; and also happy to have shared it with a wonderful group! One day a French alpinist wrote: “Climbing mountains is all about mountains, when they are beautiful and partners when they are good”. This is exactly what we found in Mongolia!
The next morning was time to pack our gear and drive back to Olgï. We took our time with a long breakfast and decided with Mouguy to have some “cultural” stop. We wanted to see if possible some famous eagle hunters. Mouguy and the drivers managed to get us invited by a family with eagles. All volunteers had the chance to carry the eagle on their arm wearing the typical cultural Mongolian suit (hat and big jkt made of fox fur). Impressive feeling!!! Eagles are huge, particularly when his beak is about 20cm from your face… The family offered us a lunch and it was very nice to spend some time in their house, see how they were living. I can tell you that life in Mongolia during the winter months must be very hard: cold, windy and long… Strong people!!!
Back in Olgï at our driver’s guest house was time for party!!! Some of us went in town buy some appetizers and beers (no wine this time…). Drivers were invited to join us as well as Mouguy, Ogdno and Toulgal. Party time!!! Music, songs (from Mongolia and France!!). It was great fun. We could really feel the strength of our group, playing, telling jokes, making fun of each others and the most important maybe, planning future trips together!!
Mamat and I were completely exhausted! I think we both release the pressure of being in charge and we just couldn’t keep our eyes open! Of course our team members saw that and they made fun of the poor mountain guides getting tired when they leave their mountains… ahahah! They were a bite right I think, for all of us it was the end now, and yes I was kind of sad. But I will soon build new project to live again this kind of adventure!
Back in France for 15 days, I realize more and more how fantastic was our Mongolian trip for many different reasons.
1) we good lucky with the weather and conditions
2) Mamat and I made the right choices that led us to the top of our goals
3) The group was very homogeneous even if people were very different and the atmosphere between all members was just perfect! I think it is not only luck, it is also because everybody made some efforts to create this amostphere
4) The country is super exotic and beautiful and the Mongolian people super nice!
5) We had very good gear and it is also why the bad weather was not “so bad”, thanks to BIGPACK
After sharing just an adventure, I just want to do it again! Somewhere else, to discover another country, meet other people and climb other mountains. That is where the “Summits after Summit” come from. Reaching one summit is not my motivation, what I love is building project that will eventually take all the team to the top if everything goes well. And I will do it again either I success or not because it summit is just the icing on the cake, a part of the experience, a great part of course but definitely not the only one! It is the spirit of our other BIGPACK project “Summit my summit”. I know how difficult it is sometimes to set a team, find the equipment , the money to realize our dream. “Summit my summit” is a tool to help all of us, mountaineers, outdoor lovers, to live great experience such as my Mongolia expedition.
In Mongolia, Mamat and I were testing the gear of course but also guiding some of our clients. Those people are “normal” people, not some of outdoor extreme sport guys. For me it is very important to notice that no matter how difficult it is, what matters is what to live, what you experience, what you share while climbing, running, trekking, hiking,… Don’t misunderstand me, our group was well prepared, trained and experienced too but not at all professional, or kind of “super hero”! My point is everybody can do it and this is why I work so hard on testing gear, shoes, bags with BIGPACK. Everybody deserve the best equipment, no matter what you do! The best equipment is the best one for you activity! In the bad weather in Mongolia, we could have survive but having the right down jkt made it 1st safe, and 2nd comfortable for people not used to this kind of conditions.
In Mongolia, we manage to combine everything in the perfect way. It was not always easy and it is exactly why it is so good when we succeed! We will soon post some videos to try to share more what we experienced everyday. Enjoy and please comment as much as you can. Your comments will help us to improve ourself for the next “Summits after summit” trip!